Bradenton Real Estate

January 2, 2013

Selling Your Home? Tips for Getting Across the Finish Line in 2013

Selling Your Home? Tips for Getting Across the Finish Line in 2013

 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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October 10, 2012

Real Estate Home Buying Report, Data, and Information for International, UK, Home Buyers and Investors For Florida Properties

Real Estate Home Buying Report, Data, and Information for International, UK, Home Buyers and Investors For Florida Properties

international, real estate, home buyer, home buying, information

If you’re a resident of the United Kingdom (UK), or an international home buyer from outside of the United States,and have been toying with the idea of buying a vacation or investment property or home in the United States, Bradenton, Sarasota, Florida is a location that you should be considering very seriously for a number of reasons:

  • There are still great home buying, and real estate investment opportunities in the Bradenton, Sarasota areas of Florida!   We are beginning to see a shift, however, from an all out buyer’s market to a more stable market that is just beginning to give a home seller the edge in some areas.
  • Great home prices coupled with the excellent dollar to pound exchange rate, currently, is a winning combination and great incentive to get serious about home buying or real estate investments right now.
  • It goes without saying… Bradenton, Sarasota, Florida property is always appealing due to our weather conditions and our unmatched gorgeous white sand beaches and warm Gulf of Mexico waters. These elements, combined with the others above, contribute to a ‘perfect storm’ situation for real estate investment opportunity for foreign investors or home buyers. Whether you plan to purchase a property for personal use or whether you’re buying a home or property for investment only and plan to lease it, the Bradenton, Sarasota areas of Florida will always be a ‘paradise’ that people will be happy to call home.

If you’ve been sitting it out on the sidelines, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to get into the real estate, home buying, game that time has arrived!

Contact The Serena Group today to schedule a personal consultation to discuss your plans, and to let us know how we can assist you with YOUR dream to buy a Florida home. We’re here for you!

Click the image below for a glimpse of a year over year comparison of real estate market data for the Bradenton, Manatee county area of Florida.

real estate, market, report, reports, data, statistics, information, UK, home buyers, foreign investors

Here’s a link to a recent article and more information for international home buyers from the Florida Association of REALTORS: INFORMATION FOR UK, INTERNATIONAL HOME BUYERS FROM FloridaRealtors®

October 3, 2012

Fall is for Football! Tailgating eBook ~ provided by The Serena Group

fall football, tailgating, eBook, recipes, ideas, advice, information

Tailgating & Football go together like:

  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Bacon & eggs
  • Coffee & doughnuts
  • Franks & beans
  • Bread & butter
  • Fish & chips
  • Chips & dip….

Well, you get the idea!

tailgating, football, tips, ideas, recipes, informationBelow you will find some great tailgating ideas, recipes, tips, and information that will either enhance your enjoyment of game day or will help soothe your wounded pride (whatever the case may be!) while cheering on your favorite team.

If you’re a Florida Football fan, please visit our website for all your College and Pro favorite Florida teams game schedules and updates… all on one page!  →  FLORIDA FOOTBALL TEAMS, SCHEDULES

And while you’re there… if you’d like to also view homes for sale, get home selling tips and information, find out what you  need to know before buying a home, use our mortgage calculators to find out what payments would be on your dream home, request a market evaluation for your home, get real estate market reports and statistics for your neighborhood, get information about foreclosures and short sales… and/or just about ANYTHING else you could think of that relates to real estate – buying or selling.

You’ll already be there… take advantage… and if we can help… please let us know!

THE SERENA GROUP IS HERE FOR YOU!

http://www.Bradenton-Florida-RealEstate.com

View this document on Scribd

August 13, 2012

Zillow Study Finds Owning a Home After Three Years More Beneficial Than Renting

Zillow Study Finds Owning a Home After Three Years More Beneficial Than Renting

View this document on Scribd

Thank you to Mike & Winnie Koebel of Home Lending Source for this guest blog post.

July 31, 2012

Did You Know?►Chase Bank and Cell Phones for Soldiers ~ Programs and Benefits for Military Families

The Serena Group team members are, and always have been, fervent supporters for anything that rewards, recognizes, enhances the lives of, or provides assistance to military men and women and their families.

The Serena Group has been involved, for a number of years, with Cell Phones for Soldiers, an organization that recycles donated cell phones and uses the proceeds from those donations to award free talk time to our military troops, and their families, while they are serving our country and its citizens.  It’s a GREAT organization and we enthusiastically encourage you to explore it in more depth by visiting their website below ▼

CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS

If you have a cell phone/phones to donate to Cell Phones for Soldiers, in Manatee or Sarasota counties in Florida, you may drop them off at:  Keller Williams Realty of Manatee in Braden River Plaza.

Here’s a link to a map of our office location ▼

4520 State Road 64 East, Bradenton, FL  34208

Another fantastic ‘military family friendly’ organization, and one of our priority partners,  is Chase Bank.

If you’re a member of the military and need assistance with:  housing, jobs, education, banking, or credit options, you need to run… not walk…to ►ChaseMilitary.com and see how making a connection with Chase Bank may benefit YOUR family.

Here’s a testimonial from a very happy military family who is definitely glad they reached out to Chase for assistance ▼

READ ABOUT THE MCINTYRE FAMILY’s EXPERIENCE HERE!  

For more information about Chase Bank, and it’s programs for military families in Manatee or Sarasota counties in Bradenton, contact Chris Tennant,Mortgage Banker for Chase Bank  here ► More information about Chase Military

July 17, 2012

Ways to Prep For Hurricanes and Protect From Tornadoes

Hurricane Preparedness

Ways to Prep for Hurricanes and protect from tornadoes.

Most people take fire safety seriously and have fire extinguishers handy and escape routes pre-planned should a blaze threaten their home. Yet while tornadoes/hurricanes and the violent storms surrounding them are far more common than homeowners realize, many homeowners don’t take the necessary steps to prepare for these destructive storms. On average, some 1200 tornadoes appear each year in the U.S.

With the possibility that the 2012 storm season will be a long and challenging one, The Hanover Insurance Group today provided tips to help home and business owners in tornado-prone states to prepare and minimize damages.

While tornadoes can occur in the United States during any month, weather conditions produce a peak season that runs through October. In areas of the country subject to the harshest storms, winds can far exceed those of even the strongest hurricanes, averaging between 110-205 mph.

Hurricane season traditionally runs from:  in the Atlantic – June 1 and ends November 30. In the Eastern Pacific -May 15 through November 30.

“Tornadoes can form in every state east of the Rockies,” said Mark Desrochers, president of The Hanover’s personal lines business. “Preparing for a tornado is a practical safety precaution that should be taken by all households in these states. With proper preparations, home and business owners can significantly reduce the risks of injury to their family and pets, as well as damage to their property. This also enables them to recover quicker.”

To help prepare for a tornado/hurricane  and respond in the event one strikes, The Hanover suggests the following 10 tips:

1) Make an action plan. Prepare in advance so that when a tornado/hurricane watch is issued, you already have an existing plan of action. Unlike hurricanes, which tend to be closely monitored for days, tornadoes can spring up quickly. In many cases, you will have to take shelter within minutes in your own home or a below-ground storm shelter. Experts advise never trying to outrun a tornado by car. Instead, move to the basement or to an inner windowless room or interior hall. Protect your head and neck with your arms and hands. Ensure everyone knows the action plan.

2) Create a survival kit. After a storm, it may be impossible to use roads for several days. You may be forced to live in your home for a while even if it is wrecked or you’re without electricity and water. So, it’s wise to assemble a survival kit containing a week’s worth of non-perishable food, bottled water, paper plates and cups, eating utensils, medicines, first aid handbook and bandages, blanket, a radio, batteries, flashlight, soap and toiletries, bleach for disinfecting, and spare clothing. Store the kit in the basement or other safe area.

3) Have debris removal tools on-hand. There may be a significant amount of debris following a tornado/hurricane that will have to be moved just to exit your structure. Some of this will be splintered wood and glass. With this in mind, store helpful items — including heavy soled shoes, gloves, eye protection and a small shovel to safely move debris. This should be kept in the same area as your survival kit.

4) Create a home inventory. Tornadoes/hurricanes can destroy your home and its contents, making it difficult to document your property losses, which can impede your recovery. With a proper home inventory you will have an acceptable means of documenting ownership and value in the event of a claim. Photograph or shoot video of your entire home or business, including the contents of each room, and store these with a written inventory and serial numbers in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box.

5) Ensure you have proper coverages in place. It is always a good idea to review your homeowner’s policy with your independent insurance agent, ensuring you have enough coverage for your contents and the physical structure as well. Also ask about other coverages that may be of value to you in the event of a tornado loss, such as reimbursement for temporary living expenses.

6) Create and share contact info. All family members should have the personal and business contact information (phone/email) for quick communications. Also ensure you have your agent and insurer’s claims office numbers stored in your mobile phone. After a storm, cell service may be more accessible than local land lines. Have important numbers on hand to help expedite your recovery after the storm. It’s important to keep your cell phone charged in advance, as power may be out for days.

7) Wait for official notice before returning home. If there is an evacuation after a storm, wait for official notice that it is safe to return to your home. When returning to your home, be cautious when entering a damaged structure. Stay away from damaged or weakened walls.

8) Take photographs and/or video documenting claim damage. Should your home or business be damaged in a tornado/hurricane, take pictures of the entire scene and document all damage — provided it is safe. Try not to remove items until an insurance adjuster has had an opportunity to visit the property and assess the damage.

9) Keep an accurate record of any temporary repairs or expenses. If you do need to make temporary repairs to help preserve the remains of your home or personal property, keep all records to ensure that they may be considered in your claim.

10) Engage with an Independent Agent. With careful preparation and planning — and assistance from your insurance professional — you can rest assured that you have the right coverages to meet your needs and a good plan of action in place. This will reduce the time and effort required to recover from a tornado and other major weather events.

While no one can tell you for sure whether a tornado or other weather event will strike your area, they are occurring with increasing frequency. So it is a good idea to consult with a local Independent Agent, have the right insurance carrier to meet your needs, and to be as prepared as you can in advance of such events.

Source: http://www.hanover.com

The Serena Group ~ Keller Williams Realty of Manatee

is here for you!  Contact Us Today!

July 10, 2012

Summer Ushers in Highest Consumer Sentiment in Four Years

Summer Ushers in Highest Consumer Sentiment in Four Years

consumer confidence report The Consumer Reports Index, an overall measure of Americans’ personal financial health, saw a sharp improvement in its consumer sentiment measure, which jumped to its highest level since October 2008.

The rise in sentiment (53.1 from 47.5 the previous month) was broad-based, with significant gains among those Americans in households earning less than $50,000 (+5.5 pts) as well as more affluent households earning $100,000 or more (+7.7 pts).

“With more than half the country earning less than 50,000, any improvement among that group may have a significant impact on the economy. They still have some distance to climb, but these are positive signs,” explains Ed Farrell, director of Consumer Insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

The improvement in consumers’ mood was supported by a decline in financial difficulties, which reached the lowest level since first measured in April 2009. The Consumer Reports Index’s Trouble Tracker, a gauge of financial difficulties faced by Americans in the past 30 days, dropped to 41.8, down from 46.5 last month.

The decline in financial troubles was evident in both lower- and upper-income households. However, the level of financial difficulties faced by those in households earning less than $50,000 is three times as great as experienced by those in more affluent households (earning $100,000 or more) as measured by the Trouble Tracker, 58.9 versus 19.5, respectively.

The Consumer Reports Index’s employment measure climbed into positive territory this month (50.9), up from 49.7 last month, indicating that more Americans have started a new job versus those that reported losing a job in the past 30 days. The employment measure’s improvement was driven by a gain in job starts (5.5 percent), up from 4.0 percent last month, reversing a three-month decline.

After a five-month slide, the index’s past 30-day retail measure moved upward this month to 9.9 from 8.9 a month earlier, but is virtually unchanged from a year ago (10.2). Planned purchasing over the next 30 days (8.6), reflecting intent to buy in July, was also up versus last month (7.0), but lags last year at this time (7.7).

Source: Consumer Reports

The Serena Group ~ Keller Williams Realty of Manatee

… is here for you!  Contact Us Today!

July 5, 2012

7 Issues That Will Prevent Your Home From Selling

7 Issues That Will Prevent Your Home From Selling

7 Issues That Will Prevent Your Home From Selling

No curb appeal

Buyers won’t even go inside if the outside of the house looks unappealing.  Clean up your front yard by trimming trees and hedges, and getting rid of weeds. Make sure the outside of your home looks well cared-for by painting the trim, mowing the lawn, refreshing mulch and plant beds, and placing attractive potted plants by the front door.

Offensive Odors

You may have become accustomed to and not even notice bad odors that may be lurking in your home, but buyers most certainly will. Smoking and pets are the prime causes of offensive odors, so, if you’re a smoking household, smoke outside while you are selling your home and make sure to dispose of the ashes right away.  Take time to devise a plan for how to handle your pets while buyers will be viewing your home.  Make sure that they are always well-groomed, that their pillows and bedding are laundered frequently, litter boxes emptied and cleaned, and that any ‘accidents’ are thoroughly and completely eliminated.  Allow the house to air out thoroughly before viewings – don’t just try to mask the odor with another scent.  If a freshening scent is needed, place a pan of water or apple juice on the stove, set to simmer on a low setting, with cinnamon sticks, and lemon or orange slices.

Loud and intimidating pets

Apart from the odor of some animals, a big dog or noisy bird can be off-putting to some buyers. If that’s a concern for you, try to remove the pet from your home when you have viewings so your potential buyers aren’t distracted from appreciating the great features of your home by your pet, or worse, frightened.

Signs of Moisture or Mold

Problems with moisture are a big turn-off to buyers. Make sure your home doesn’t smell of mildew and there are no signs of mold or mildew on walls, cabinetry, sinks, bathroom showers, A/C units, or flooring. It’s much better to address and remedy moisture problems, proactively, before you get a buyer, than to wait until buyers point them out to you.

Dirt and Grime

Although dirt is usually only cosmetic, it sends a ‘red flag’ out to buyers, leaving the impression that; overall, the house isn’t well cared for. Make sure that your kitchen and bathrooms, in particular, are squeaky clean, as these areas are particularly scrutinized for cleanliness by potential buyers.

Questionable or Dated Décor

Although your home’s décor shouldn’t matter, due to the fact that it’s also a cosmetic fix or design choice, with many buyers it does influence their choices. ‘Move in ready homes’ are very appealing to home buyers and are usually at the top of their favorite’s list due to the fact that they can move in and get settled quickly without having to make a lot of changes. Given this reality, make it a priority, when getting your home ready to sell, to replace or refresh tired or out-of-date carpeting, flooring, paint,  or wallpaper with more neutral colors and modern scheme.

Pricing

If your home is overpriced compared to similar properties on the market for your neighborhood or community, you’ll be limiting buyer interest and activity, and it will be very likely that your home will sit on the market without getting solid offers. Pricing for your home depends on a number of important market conditions and factors, so it’s very important to seek out the advice of and engage a real estate professional that you trust, and then take their advice when it comes to setting a price for your home.

Follow the link below for more home selling tips from The Serena Group ▼

HOME SELLING, SHORT SALE, FORECLOSURE, TIPS, INFORMATION, AND RESOURCES!

If you’re contemplating or need answers to questions that you may have about a short sale of your home, The Serena Group is a team of distressed property experts and specialists, sharing 100+ years of real estate experience and expertise… We CAN help you!

Follow the link below to schedule a free short sale consultation ▼

The Serena Group offers online SHORT SALE CONSULTATION scheduling HERE!

or Contact our team leader, ROBERT SERENA directly ► 941.928.1248.

June 20, 2012

Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee County, or Sarasota County Home Owner, Contemplating a Move?

selling a home, selling real estate, home selling

If you’re thinking about the pros and cons of selling your home in the current Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee County, or Sarasota County real estate market, here are a few key points to consider:

  1. Low inventory in your neighborhood with high ‘buyer’ demand is usually indicative of a seller advantage or seller’s market for that area.  If this is the case for your neighborhood or subdivision, you may end up with multiple offers or a bidding war on your home, which is a great position to be in as a home owner!  Offers over the ‘list price’ are becoming more common for high demand areas.
  2. Even if there are distressed property competitors or a higher inventory of available properties for sale in your neighborhood, if you’re selling a home and then buying a new home too, you could very well make up on the ‘buying side’ of the process what you might lose on the selling side.  In some instances, you might even gain more than you lose.  Enlist the assistance of a great real estate team/agent to give you an analysis of the real estate market for your area and to offer their professional interpretation of the facts.
  3. Although the real estate market is moving in an upward direction, after a number of ‘down years,’ you still might be able to take advantage of a ‘move up’ opportunity or of purchasing a bigger, more elegant, or newer home at a price that may not be available long or be seen again for years.

Need an ear, a hand, or just some wise and professional real estate advice?

Contact The Serena Group today!

Our team of 7 seasoned agents is here for you with free online home research tools, market reports, a free home seller consultation, short sale resources, or a free market analysis for your home.

Email or contact our team leader, Robert Serena at ►  info@TheSerenaGroup.com

or by Direct phone ►941.928.1248.

If you do decide to sell your home, you may benefit from some of these excellent moving tips.

Vital Ideas to Make Moving as Easy as Possible

Moving is one of life’s most stressful events.  Here’s a quick guide to make your move as painless as possible.

Decide what not to pack

  • Now’s a good time to declutter your life by deciding which items you don’t want to take with you. Decide what you want to give away, throw away, or sell.
  • Get packing materials
  • If you’re not using a professional mover, you’ll need to get some packing materials. Bookstores often have strong boxes they don’t want anymore — call on the day of a delivery to ask for them.
  • Draw a floor plan — and use labels
  • Create a plan of your new home that you can use as a guide throughout the moving process. Label each of your boxes according to this plan. And clearly list what’s in each of the boxes.

What to pack first

  • Pack things you don’t need often first. Books, out-of-season clothes, and memorabilia make good candidates to go into boxes right away.
  • Pack “essentials” boxes
  • Mark some boxes as “essentials” and put in them the things you need on your first night in your new home.  That way you won’t waste time (and valuable energy) trying to find important things.

Food…and plants

  • Food, particularly from the freezer, isn’t easily stored, so try to use it up. Put plants in big plastic bags to avoid dirt spilling.

May 16, 2012

6 Arguments for Buying Versus Renting a home

You’ve probably been bombarded by local and national real estate market news and information stating that “Now is the time to buy!”  

Especially if you are a first time home buyer, you might be asking yourself,

“Should I take the leap now into the real estate market to purchase a home?”  Or  “Is now the right time to buy a home?”

As much as all of the positive signs that we’re seeing in our local real estate market for the Sarasota, Bradenton, Manatee County, and Sarasota County area of Florida seems to provoke the answer to those questions to be a resounding “YES!”buying a home is a very personal action with very unique and individual circumstances to be considered for making the right decision at the right time .  A ‘one size fits all’ answer to the questions posed above would not do you, as a home buyer,  justice as the unique person that you are.

The advantages to home buying versus renting a home are numerous, but only you can determine if those advantages outweigh your other personal situations.

The very best home buying advice that you could follow is to, first, sit down with your family to privately discuss your options, pros and cons of both home ownership and renting.  When you’ve got a clear picture of your family’s priorities and have decided to look into buying a home, poll your trusted family members, friends, and colleagues, do your research on the web, and then,  seek the advice and guidance of an experienced, seasoned, and skilled real estate team or professional.

A good real estate agent or team of agents will be happy to schedule a home buyer consultation to go over your list of priorities, home criteria, and personal family situations to help you to decide the best plan of attack for purchasing your new home.  A good real estate agent will also counsel you on the steps of buying a home so that you will feel comfortable all throughout the home buying process… from the beginning point of looking at homes, to the end of the line at the closing table when you finally take possession of the keys to your new home!

If you or anyone that you know would like to schedule a home buyer consultation with The Serena Group, please contact our team leader, Bob Serena, directly at ► 941.928.1248

controlling your expenses, stable living costs, renting versus buying a home

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privacy, entry rights, renting versus buying a home

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pet ownership, renting versus buying a home

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noise and privacy, renting versus buying a home

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designing decisions, renting versus buying a home

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tax breaks, renting versus buying a home

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